Inspiring Impact NI 2014 Highlights
The Trust's Nigel McKinney (left) with Inspiring Impact's Aognus O'Keefe (right) at the launch of the programme in March 2014.

Inspiring Impact NI 2014 Highlights

16 December 2014

Information Officer Kerry McCarroll brings us some of the highlights of the Inspiring Impact programme from 2014. 

2014 has been a busy year for Inspiring Impact NI.  As part of the programme’s support to the sector strand, 13 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations were awarded Building Change Awards.

Groups from a wide range of sectors received funding of up to £15,000 to act as leaders for impact within their sector. The successful organisations were:

  •   ABC Community Network
  •   Age NI
  •   Ballymoney Community Resource Centre
  •   Community Development and Health Network
  •   CO3
  •   Holywell Consultancy
  •   National Deaf Children’s Society
  •   National Children’s Bureau
  •   NICVA
  •   Playboard
  •   Sported Foundation
  •   Volunteer Now Enterprises
  •   Youthnet

These organisations will be providing direct support to their members and client groups so that they are better able to understand the cycle of impact practice; assess their own impact practice; access information on impact tools and resources; and plan to apply impact practice.

Community Evaluation NI will provide training for these organisations as part of its support programme, using key resources developed by the wider Inspiring Impact UK programme.

As part of the funders strand of the programme, five statutory funders to the VCSE sectors were identified to undertake demonstration projects to apply an impact practice approach to one of their funding streams.

This was in collaboration with the public sector group, a coordination mechanism for funding to the voluntary and community sector chaired by the Department for Social Development’s Voluntary & Community Unit.

The five demonstration projects are as follows:

  1. Regional Infrastructure Support Programme (Advice & Interfaith themes) – Department for Social Development
  2. Community Development Grant Programme – Belfast City Council
  3. Community Grants Scheme – Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  4. United Youth Programme – Department for Employment & Learning
  5. Healthy Living Centres – Public Health Agency

A PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) team will work closely with each of the demonstration projects in applying an impact practice approach as set out in the Funders’ Principles and Drivers of Good Impact Practice, a resource developed by the wider Inspiring Impact UK programme.

Impact Exchange

We also held our first Impact Exchange event, ‘Sowing Seeds of Change’, to highlight the importance of impact practice and to demonstrate the progress that has been made in the programme to date.

The event was fully booked and discussion focused on the need to plan for impact and highlighted how this is being achieved by voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, independent and statutory funders.

The half day seminar shared some good practice and showcased how the VCSE sector and its funders can be more effective by systematically focusing on impact and planning for the change they wish to bring about in society.

Stratagem NI is supporting Inspiring Impact NI to develop and deliver a public affairs strategy. This is focused on key decision makers across Government to ensure that there is understanding and buy-in within the statutory sector which is a significant source of funding for the sector.

We look forward to building on the progress we have made in the months to come, and will continue to work with the sector to adopt an ‘impact practice’ approach.